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What are The “Variants of Concern” of Coronavirus? Learn about the Impact and Effectiveness of Vaccines on them

Worried about new variants of the coronavirus? Get the details.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021

True to the nature of any virus, the SARS-CoV-2, the one behind the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic also evolve. As the virus spreads, it mutates and form new variants, some of which turn out to be more potent, have the power to transmit more easily and cause more severe illness.

In case of the coronavirus, it has been see that the Delta variant is so far the most dangerous and what is more worrisome is that it is fast spreading to several countries.

First reported in October, 2020, the Delta variant was the main contributor to the second wave of the pandemic in India and is now a dominant strain in the UK slowly insinuating its way towards other countries like the United States.

Now a further mutation in the Delta variant has been reported in India, the Delta Plus variant, although it is yet to be determined how virulent it is, due to an absence of sufficient data.

Reason for Mutation

The lower the capacity of a population to withstand the effects of a virus attack and the more easily it is transmitted, the greater is the likelihood for it to undergo changes. While certain replications may cause the virus to weaken, others may cause it to become more lethal, easily transmissible or severe. This depends on the location of the virus’ genetic material where the change is occurring.

Also Read: 94 Covid infections are reported in Delhi, with active cases falling to 992, the lowest number so far this year.

What are variants?

The WHO has deemed those variants, out of the several that are doing the rounds across the globe since the onset of the pandemic, with the most potential to cause harm as the “variants of concern”.

These variants are closely monitored by health experts. The list is as below:

Delta variant (B.1.617.2): This menacing variant according to researchers transmits at twice the speed of the Alpha. It was the main reason several countries had to impose lockdowns

Kent or Alpha variant (B.1.1.7): WHO said this has already spread to 20 nations and could be still mutating.

Gamma variant (P.1): First reported in north-western Brazil in December last year, this has wreaked havoc in at least 70 countries.

Are vaccines effective on variants?

Recently the NIH has stated Covaxin is effective in neutralizing the effects of both Alpha and Delta variants.

It has been said by the Centre both Covishield and Covaxin worked against Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants.

Developers of Sputnik V say it is about 90% effective against the Delta variant.

The News Talkie Bureau



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